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[law] /lɔ/

adjective, adverb, noun, Obsolete.
1 .
a rule or set of rules, enforceable by the courts, regulating the government of a state, the relationship between the organs of government and the subjects of the state, and the relationship or conduct of subjects towards each other


a rule of conduct: a law of etiquette
one of a set of rules governing a particular field of activity: the laws of tennis
the law

a binding force or statement: his word is law
Also called law of nature. a generalization based on a recurring fact or event
the science or knowledge of law; jurisprudence
the principles originating and formerly applied only in courts of common law Compare equity (sense 3)
a general principle, formula, or rule describing a phenomenon in mathematics, science, philosophy, etc: the laws of thermodynamics
(capital) (Judaism) the Law

a law unto itself, a law unto himself, a person or thing that is outside established laws
go to law, to resort to legal proceedings on some matter
lay down the law, to speak in an authoritative or dogmatic manner
(Judaism) reading the Law, reading of the Law, that part of the morning service on Sabbaths, festivals, and Mondays and Thursdays during which a passage is read from the Torah scrolls
take the law into one’s own hands, to ignore or bypass the law when redressing a grievance
(Scot) a hill, esp one rounded in shape
a Scot word for low1
Andrew Bonar (ˈbɒnə). 1858–1923, British Conservative statesman, born in Canada; prime minister (1922–23)
Denis. born 1940, Scottish footballer; a striker, he played for Manchester United (1962–73) and Scotland (30 goals in 55 games, 1958–74); European Footballer of the Year (1964)
John. 1671–1729, Scottish financier. He founded the first bank in France (1716) and the Mississippi Scheme for the development of Louisiana (1717), which collapsed due to excessive speculation
Jude. born 1972, British film actor, who starred in The Talented Mr Ripley (1999), Cold Mountain (2003), and Sherlock Holmes (2009)
William. 1686–1761, British Anglican divine, best known for A Serious Call to a Holy and Devout Life (1728)

Old English lagu (plural laga, comb. form lah-) “law, ordinance, rule, regulation; district governed by the same laws,” from Old Norse *lagu “law,” collective plural of lag “layer, measure, stroke,” literally “something laid down or fixed,” from Proto-Germanic *lagan “put, lay” (see lay (v.)).

Replaced Old English æ and gesetnes, which had the same sense development as law. Cf. also statute, from Latin statuere; German Gesetz “law,” from Old High German gisatzida; Lithuanian istatymas, from istatyti “set up, establish.” In physics, from 1660s. Law and order have been coupled since 1796.

law (lô)

A statement that describes invariable relationships among phenomena under a specified set of conditions. Boyle’s law, for instance, describes what will happen to the volume of an ideal gas if its pressure changes and its temperature remains the same. The conditions under which some physical laws hold are idealized (for example, there are no ideal gases in the real world), thus some physical laws apply universally but only approximately. See Note at hypothesis.

Related Terms

sunset law, sunshine law

Related Terms

john law

a rule of action. (1.) The Law of Nature is the will of God as to human conduct, founded on the moral difference of things, and discoverable by natural light (Rom. 1:20; 2:14, 15). This law binds all men at all times. It is generally designated by the term conscience, or the capacity of being influenced by the moral relations of things. (2.) The Ceremonial Law prescribes under the Old Testament the rites and ceremonies of worship. This law was obligatory only till Christ, of whom these rites were typical, had finished his work (Heb. 7:9, 11; 10:1; Eph. 2:16). It was fulfilled rather than abrogated by the gospel. (3.) The Judicial Law, the law which directed the civil policy of the Hebrew nation. (4.) The Moral Law is the revealed will of God as to human conduct, binding on all men to the end of time. It was promulgated at Sinai. It is perfect (Ps. 19:7), perpetual (Matt. 5:17, 18), holy (Rom. 7:12), good, spiritual (14), and exceeding broad (Ps. 119:96). Although binding on all, we are not under it as a covenant of works (Gal. 3:17). (See COMMANDMENTS.) (5.) Positive Laws are precepts founded only on the will of God. They are right because God commands them. (6.) Moral positive laws are commanded by God because they are right.


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    [lawz] /lɔz/ noun 1. Henry (“Harry”) 1596–1662, English composer. 2. Lewis E(dward) 1883–1947, U.S. penologist. /lɔːz/ noun 1. Henry. 1596–1662, English composer, noted for his music for Milton’s masque Comus (1634) and for his settings of some of Robert Herrick’s poems 2. his brother, William. 1602–45, English composer, noted for his harmonically experimental instrumental music

  • Lawfare

    /ˈlɔːˌfɛə/ noun 1. the use of the law by a country against its enemies, esp by challenging the legality of military or foreign policy

  • Law-french

    noun 1. Anglo-French as used in legal proceedings and lawbooks in England from the Norman Conquest to the 17th century, some terms of which are still in use. noun 1. a set of Anglo-Norman terms used in English laws and law books

  • Lawfully

    [law-fuh l] /ˈlɔ fəl/ adjective 1. allowed or permitted by ; not contrary to : a lawful enterprise. 2. recognized or sanctioned by ; legitimate: a lawful marriage; a lawful heir. 3. appointed or recognized by ; legally qualified: a lawful king. 4. acting or living according to the ; law-abiding: a lawful man; a […]

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